Irvo Otieno: 10 people connected to the death of a 28-year-old Black man at a mental health facility face murder charges. Here’s what we know


Three of the ten folks going through homicide fees within the demise final week of a 28-year-old Black man at a Virginia psychological well being facility had been safety guards on the hospital who watched after which participated within the deadly smothering, the prosecutor instructed CNN Friday.

The sufferer’s household desires solutions as to how a promising musician having what they known as a psychological well being disaster ended with him dying – and why nobody stood up for him and saved him from being killed.

The county prosecutor stated seven legislation enforcement deputies, joined by the hospital staff, “smothered him to demise” whereas restraining him.

“I’ve by no means seen something like this,” Commonwealth’s Lawyer Ann Cabell Baskervill stated, referring to unreleased video that reveals the person’s demise.

Baskervill stated the hospital safety guards passively watched the alleged smothering however ultimately joined in and piled on high of the sufferer together with the deputies.

The native legislation enforcement officers’ union says they “stand behind” the deputies whereas an lawyer for one of many deputies charged stated he regarded ahead to the complete reality being shared in court docket.

Right here’s what we all know in regards to the lethal incident.

Irvo (pronounced EYE-voh) Otieno was 28. He had a ardour for music, household lawyer Mark Krudys stated Thursday, and was working to turn out to be a hip-hop artist. Initially from Kenya, he got here to the US when he was 4.

His mom, Caroline Ouko, stated he had “discovered his factor” with music and will write a tune in lower than 5 minutes. “He put his vitality in that and he was pleased with it,” she stated at a information convention Thursday.

Irvo had an enormous coronary heart, she stated, and was the one his classmates got here to after they had issues. He was a pacesetter who introduced his personal perspective to the desk, she added.

“If there was dialogue, he was not afraid to go the opposite method when all people else was following,” she stated.

Her son had a psychological sickness that necessitated medication, Ouko stated. He had lengthy stretches the place “(you) wouldn’t even know one thing was improper” after which there have been instances when “he would go into some type of misery after which he must see a health care provider,” she stated.

On March 3, Otieno was arrested by Henrico County police who had been responding to a report of a potential housebreaking, in keeping with a police information launch. The officers, accompanied by members of the county’s disaster intervention crew, positioned him underneath an emergency custody order.

The officers transported him to a hospital the place authorities say he assaulted three officers. Police took him to county jail and he was booked.

On March 6, Otieno was taken to a state psychological well being facility in Dinwiddie County and died through the consumption course of, in keeping with Baskervill.

“They smothered him to demise,” the prosecutor stated.

A preliminary report from the Workplace of Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond recognized asphyxiation as a reason behind demise, the commonwealth lawyer’s workplace stated in an announcement.

Otieno was held on the bottom in handcuffs and leg irons for 12 minutes by seven deputies, Baskervill stated.

Baskervill stated Friday that video of the obvious smothering reveals there have been palms over Otieno’s mouth, palms on his head and palms holding his braids again.

On the Henrico County jail, simply earlier than Otieno’s switch to Central State Hospital on March 6, he was bare in his cell, with feces throughout, in keeping with Baskervill.

She instructed CNN the video from his cell, which she considered, reveals Otieno was clearly agitated and in misery. CNN has not seen the video.

Otieno was pepper sprayed earlier than 5 or 6 Henrico jail deputies entered the cell and tackled him, Baskervill stated.

“He’s on the bottom beneath them for a number of minutes there,” she stated. “And blows are sustained on the Henrico county jail.”

Requested if Otieno appeared combative, Baskervill stated, “I’d actually characterize his conduct as being distressed, somewhat than assaultive, combative.”

Later, at Central State Hospital, Otieno was on the bottom at one level with at the least 10 folks on high of him, Baskervill stated.

“They’re placing their again into it, leaning down. And that is from head to toe, from his braids on the high of his head, sadly, to his toes,” she stated.

Baskervill stated Otieno was ultimately placed on his abdomen, with the strain on him persevering with, and he died in that place.

Baskervill believes Otieno was lifeless earlier than a 911 name was even made. Paramedics left and State Police weren’t known as till 7:28 pm, in keeping with Baskervill.

“The delay in contacting correct authorities is inexplicable. Really inexplicable,” she stated.

The seven sheriff’s deputies and three hospital staff have been charged with second-degree homicide.

The seven deputies who had been charged had been recognized in Baskervill’s launch Tuesday as Randy Joseph Boyer, 57, of Henrico; Dwayne Alan Bramble, 37, of Sandston; Jermaine Lavar Department, 45, of Henrico; Bradley Thomas Disse, 43, of Henrico; Tabitha Renee Levere, 50, of Henrico; Brandon Edwards Rodgers, 48, of Henrico; and Kaiyell Dajour Sanders, 30, of North Chesterfield.

The Henrico Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 4, the native legislation enforcement officers’ union, issued an announcement Tuesday saying they “stand behind” the deputies.

“Policing in America at this time is tough, made much more so by the opportunity of being criminally charged whereas performing their obligation,” the group stated. “The demise of Mr. Otieno was tragic, and we categorical our condolences to his household. We additionally stand behind the seven accused deputies now charged with homicide by the Dinwiddie County Commonwealth’s Lawyer Ann Baskervill.”

The hospital staff arrested Thursday had been recognized as Darian M. Blackwell, 23, of Petersburg; Wavie L. Jones, 34, of Chesterfield; and Sadarius D. Williams, 27, of North Dinwiddie.

There’s video footage however it is not going to be launched to the general public. CNN requested the footage however was instructed the fabric will not be topic to necessary disclosure as a result of the investigation is ongoing.

“To take care of the integrity of the prison justice course of at this level, I’m not in a position to publicly launch the video,” stated Baskervill, noting surveillance video from the psychological well being facility recorded the consumption course of.

Otieno’s household has considered the video offered by prosecutors Thursday and his mom says Otieno was tortured.

“My son was handled like a canine, worse than a canine,” she screamed, offended that nobody stopped what led to her son’s demise. “We’ve to do higher.”

His older brother, Leon Ochieng, stated folks ought to be assured in calling for assist when their family members are in disaster. He didn’t imagine the folks he noticed on the video cared about preserving a life.

“What I noticed was a dull human being with none illustration,” Ochieng stated, including that his household is now damaged and is asking for extra consciousness on the best way to deal with these with psychological sicknesses.

“Can somebody clarify to me why my brother will not be right here, proper now?” Ochieng stated.

CNN has sought remark from the deputies and acquired phrase from attorneys of three of the people charged.

Caleb Kershner, the lawyer for Boyer, instructed CNN he has but to see the video however stated “nothing was exterior the bizarre” within the technique of transferring Otieno from jail to the psychological well being facility.

Kershner instructed CNN that Otieno refused to get out of the automobile when arriving on the hospital and deputies had to make use of pressure to get him out.

Kershner additionally stated hospital workers administered a sedative to Otieno when he was nonetheless alive and resisting. Nonetheless, Baskervill on Wednesday stated the shot was given after Otieno was already lifeless. CNN has reached out to the hospital for remark however didn’t obtain a right away response.

“My consumer was merely holding his leg all through any ordeal in an effort to be certain that what we estimate to be a 350-pound man, who was having a extreme psychological well being episode, as not let unfastened in a medical facility the place he may severely injure different folks,” Kershner stated. “From my evaluation of the case, nothing was exterior the bizarre or exterior the scope of their coaching for what they did.”

Peter B. Baruch, an lawyer for Disse, issued an announcement defending his consumer.

“Deputy Disse has had a 20-year profession with the Sheriffs division, and has served honorably. He’s trying ahead to his alternative to do that case and for the complete reality to be shared in court docket and being vindicated,” he stated.

Bramble’s lawyer, Steven Hanna, stated he was nonetheless gathering data and declined to remark additional.

CNN has not heard from the opposite attorneys it has recognized as representing the opposite defendants.

An lawyer representing one of many deputies instructed CNN he and different protection attorneys haven’t but been in a position to evaluation the video of Otieno’s demise.

The lawyer stated he’s “shocked” the video has not been launched and believes “they’re overcharging” the deputies on this case.

Household attorneys say Otieno posed no risk to the deputies.

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who’s engaged on behalf of the household, stated Otieno was not violent or aggressive with the deputies.

“You see within the video he’s restrained with handcuffs, he has leg irons on, and also you see within the majority of the video that he appears to be in between lifelessness and unconsciousness, however but you see him being restrained so brutally with a knee on his neck,” Crump stated Thursday.

Crump stated the video is a “commentary on how inhumane legislation enforcement officers deal with people who find themselves having a psychological well being disaster as criminals somewhat than treating them as people who find themselves in want of assist.”

Very similar to the arrest and demise of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020, Otieno was face down and restrained, Crump stated.

“Why would anyone not have sufficient widespread sense to say we’ve seen this film earlier than?” he stated.

Household lawyer Mark Krudys stated the deputies had engaged in extreme pressure.

“His mom was mainly crying out for assist for her son in a psychological well being state of affairs. As a substitute, he was thrust into the prison justice system, and aggressively handled and handled poorly on the jail,” he stated.

The video from the psychological well being facility reveals the fees are acceptable, Krudys stated.

“Once you see that video … you’re simply going to ask your self, ‘Why?’” he stated.

The ten defendants will seem in court docket Tuesday earlier than a grand jury, in keeping with on-line court docket data. If the case goes to trial and any of them are convicted, the jail sentence for second-degree homicide in Virginia is a minimal of 5 years with a most of 40 years.

Crump has known as for the US Division of Justice to participate within the investigation.